The Correctional Service Agencies have strongly denied a number of allegations a prisoner has made against prison authorities.
Brian Vella, aged 41, alleged that he had been targeted as part of a “campaign of terror” being undertaken in Corradino Correctional Facilities, that he had witnessed the infamous “punishment chair” himself and had even seen Correctional Officers remove a dead body in the middle of the night.
He’s since said that he’s been placed in solitary confinement and isn’t being allowed to contact his family.
Vella, who has sworn to go on record with his testimony, has filed a court application requesting to be transferred out of prison and into Mount Carmel in light of this “inhumane” treatment.
Vella is serving a life sentence for the double murder of two elderly neighbours, Gerald Grima and his wife Josephine, aged 79 and 63 respectively. He was found guilty by jury in 2007, and though he appealed the sentence, his punishment was upheld in 2011.
In their response to Vella’s claims, prison officials said they were “perplexed” by some of the claims, such as the removal of the dead body in the middle of the night.
Though Vella had enjoyed some of the highest prison privileges an inmate can earn over his 14 year detainment, a drunken incident had led to him losing some privileges, such as the ability to work inside and earn an income, they said in their legal response.
The incident revolved around a family event Vella was given prison leave to attend. However, when he returned to prison, he was allegedly drunk, and attacked a correctional officer. Following this incident, his privileges were cut down.
Though Vella had claimed that he wasn’t being allowed to call his family, officials said that every prisoner is given one free phone card per month that can be used at each inmate’s convenience; however, since he had less income, he may have not been able to purchase further phone cards.
Officials also denied his claim that he had lost his visiting rights, saying they had only refused a visit one time and it was due to the fact that the visitor himself did not agree to being searched upon entry, therefore rendering himself unable to enter prison.